Support services for Eating Disorder Caregivers are now available in South West London, through phone calls and Zoom support groups.
Beat, the UK’s leading eating disorder charity, launched the Nexus and Solace services in response to a 233% increase in requests for support from caregivers between 2020 and 2021.
From April 2019 to March 2020, Beat received 1,108 requests for assistance to his helplines from London-based caregivers, but from April 2020 to March 2021 he received 3,639 requests.
Caroline Price, Director of Beat Services, said: “Thousands of people with loved ones with eating disorders have contacted us during the pandemic, and it has been a time of upheaval, stress and unpredictability for many. .
“Caring for someone with an eating disorder can be an isolating and confusing experience, and it is important that caregivers look after their own mental health as well. “
Beat has contributed to the mental health of caregivers for decades, because their well-being is just as important as that of their loved ones.
The association has partnered with the Healthy London Partnership, which aims to improve the health and well-being of Londoners.
He also works with the three collaborations of inpatient mental health care providers in South West London for young people.
New support services
Link is a weekly telephone service for caregivers, parents and siblings.
Beat provides trained counselors to caregivers who want to talk about their experiences while teaching them techniques to help their loved one recover.
Comfort is a peer support group hosted on Zoom, where caregivers can connect and empathize with others in similar situations.
The sessions are facilitated by eating disorders services and facilitated by caregivers.
Price added, “Our counselors provide expert advice based on each person’s specific situations, such as how to set boundaries at home and support people with meal plans. ”
“We hope that by continuing to expand our support services, caregivers will feel more empowered and confident when supporting their loved one and will also be better equipped to take care of their own mental health.”
Recovery from eating disorders
Eating disorders can be overcome with the help and support of local GPs, helplines and therapy sessions.
The recovery numbers for eating disorders are taken from the average percentages from various studies, so they do not add up to 100%.
Therefore, this average gives a greater degree of precision because academic research on eating disorders is limited.
Eating disorder caregivers in South West London can now contact their GP who will refer them to Beat’s new support services.
Impact of the pandemic
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Managing Director David Bradley said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has put tremendous stress on individuals, and I urge anyone concerned about a child or young person to speak up to your general practitioner. “
Many caregivers have seen a loved one become ill due to the loss of usual routines and increased isolation during the pandemic.
However, awareness about this has grown over the past year.
Cases of eating disorders have increased during the pandemic.
In addition, more than two-thirds of people diagnosed before the pandemic have seen their symptoms worsen moderately or significantly since the start of the pandemic.
Beat’s helpline reflected this as it hit over 300% demand at its peak – higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Price explained: “For some who already had an eating disorder, their illness got worse, more people developed an eating disorder for the first time, and others who thought they had recovered. of their eating disorder have relapsed. “
Today, Beat’s new services are successfully helping families struggling with members with eating disorders.
One Nexus user said, “We were desperately worried about our daughter who has anorexia before I started the Beat sessions.
“After their gentle guidance and support, I now feel emotionally and physically capable of supporting our daughter.
“The impact of what I have learned has resulted in a significant improvement in our communication and relationships. “
Beat provides support throughout the year through hotlines, text messages, emails and online support, including message boards and support groups.
It also provides expert training to health and social service professionals and schools.
More information on: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/.